Plastics manufacturing has been Dawn Fronte's entire career. She started at Modern Dispersions Inc. directly after high school with clerical duties and moved through several roles in her 27-year career.
"During this time, I followed much interest in composite lumber, irrigation pipe, along with many film items," she said.
Fronte moved to Garlock Printing and Converting and then Chroma Color Corp. "The additional experience in the flexible packaging industry opened an entire learning experience of film uses. Landing with Chroma [brought] many plastic commodities under one roof, which keeps me interested to this day," she said.
She held many positions to gather hands-on experience in most departments, she said, and the cross-training helped to push her career higher.
"I have now been part of the implementation process for four locations into Chroma Color. Extensive experience of operating systems allows me to train and create standard operating procedures for many intercompany positions. Production scheduling has been one of my greatest interests, with customer service a close second," she said.
Fronte manages MTS items and PEEP data across six corporate locations, adjusts growth factors and establishes primary and secondary manufacturing sites to bring in new business, and handles inventory reduction on non-MTS and obsolete items.
The best advice she has received is to learn by experience: "Don't fluff it up and be fancy; straight to the point is easier to get your point across."
"Most of my working career has been self-taught by hands-on training," Fronte said. "Having an open mind with knowledge to follow the business path from start to finish has been a large factor in my success."
Q: What about the plastics industry surprises you?
Fronte: Final products and their quality. When you are out in public and find something made of plastic, look for trademarks or molder marks. Always interested in who makes this and what it is made of.
Q: What has been the biggest impact or challenge on your career from the coronavirus pandemic?
Fronte: A steady workforce. Attendance due to sickness or complete closures slowed down production for not only Chroma but also our suppliers. We are still feeling the impact down the supply chain. It could take years to get back to past practices, if at all. This could be the new normal.
Q: What has been the most unexpected thing you learned from the pandemic?
Fronte: We had a large increase in medical use materials, which kept our production plants open as essential medical product suppliers.